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“MESH Government to the Rescue” TEDxGotham Presentation

Video of my October 2010 presentation at TEDxGotham about how we can engender a new era of efficiency in government by building share platforms.  Inspired by the concepts in Lisa Gansky’s new book The Mesh.

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Gov20, government, ideas, New York, open data, open-source, politics, presentations, reinventing government

Fall Speaking Schedule

I’ll be giving a number of invited presentations this Fall, focusing on what we’ve learned by executing our Open Senate initiatives in New York State, and how these lessons apply to the potential to open up and streamline other government entities.  Broadly relevant themes and lessons learned relate to use of Gov 2.0 technologies, open-source software, cloud computing, open data publishing standards, and more efficient management and sharing of information assets intra- andinter-government.

Sept 10th, Startup Weekend NYC, “Start Gov 2.0 Startups!

Oct. 15th, TEDxGotham: “Mesh Government to the Rescue

Oct 26th, Open Data Working Summit, “Open Senate”

Oct 27th, GOSCON, The Government Open-Source Convention: Executive Open Data Round Table: The State of Open Government (keynote)

Oct 27th, GOSCON, The Government Open-Source Convention: “How to Root Your Agency

Nov 3rd, GovLoop New York City “GovUp

Nov 5th, New York City Technology Forum: “Crowdsourcing and Social Collaboration Tools

Nov 7th, The Great Urban Hack: “Let Them Eat Data: Creating Civic Benefit from Open Government Data

Nov 9th: Drupal Business Summit, New York: “Using Drupal to Open Up the New York State Senate

Nov 16th: NYS Forum Cloud Computing Working Group Kickoff Meeting (co-Chair)

Nov 17th: US GSA International Open Data Conference: “Open Government Sites – Where Have We Been and Where We Are Going

Nov 18th: Drupal Business Summit, Washington DC: “Using Drupal to Open Up the New York State Senate

 

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Gov20, government, ideas, New York, open data, politics, reinventing government

The Virtuous Circle of Open Government & Streamlining Government

Yesterday the national Technology CEO Council just released a plan for how to save $1 trillion via technology-enabled government streamlining at the Federal level.  The plan is credible, and it’s great that it’s making the rounds at the White House this week.  They didn’t say it in the report, but there is a virtuous circle between open government work happening at the Federal and State levels, and this tech-enabled government streamlining called for in this plan.  I believe that technology-enabled streamlining of government needs to be conducted iteratively in the context of and in parallel with comprehensive technology-enabled open government reforms.  Here’s why:

  1. Streamlined digital information management will make it easier to publish government open data, for purposes of government transparency and also to make these considerable digital assets that we have all paid for with our tax dollars available to the private sector and the rest of the public sector.
  2. The Council’s streamlining plan relies on identifying inefficiencies (e.g.: business processes that can readily be streamlined) and fraud in government spending; these needles in haystacks can best be found by publishing the underlying data publicly, so that as many actors as possible– including you and I as citizens– can spend our collecting time identifying these inefficient and fraudulent needles in a haystack, rather than relying on government itself to find them.  This requires comprehensive timely publishing of open data, and in some cases the crowdsourcing of the work required to clean and structure the data, so that this analysis can be carried out.
  3. This technology streamlining effort will doubtless involve giving new government technology contracts to commercial vendors, some of whom sit on the Council itself; in order to ensure that streamlining proposals don’t themselves become encumbered by the bias of business opportunity, timely intuitive availability of government technology contracting data is also necessary to keep the vendors honest in this process.

Finally, a natural next question is, what is the municipal and State level version of this plan, and how much could be saved in aggregate at the local and State levels, if analogous streamlining were undertaking across many cities, counties and States in parallel with this streamlining effort at the State level… Could the aggregate savings therein amount to $1.5 Trillion?  $5 Trillion?

Whether at the local, State, or Federal level, I expect that we’ll see the greatest potential upside in terms of realized savings if technology-enabled government streamlining plan are carried out in close coordination with corollary comprehensive open government plans.

 

 

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Gov20, government, ideas, New York, open data, papers, politics, reinventing government

Andrew Cuomo Releases OpenNY Plan

Andrew Cuomo today released his “OpenNY” plan, part of his expanded “Clean Up Albany: Make It Work” agenda.  The plan has three major components, which apparently will be instantiated through a central OpenNY website, as well as new OpenNY websites for each New York State Agency and Authority.

  1. Open Information, a commitment to proactively publishing a massive trove of government data online on a central website; think of this as the Data.gov of New York;
  2. Open Government for Performance, a commitment to make the State’s budget and spending (including contracts, grants and subsidies) more transparent and intuitive online; think of this as usaspending.gov for New York.
  3. Open Collaboration, a commitment to engage New Yorkers hands-on, online in the process of governing, including through expanded us of social media; this could be a combination of efforts like Challenge.gov, Open For Questions, and effective cross-Agency use of the major social networking platforms.

While the document is more of a call to action and a set of high-level commitments than an executable plan, I believe those details will come, and I’m thrilled that a likely next Chief Executive of my State is putting these three important stakes in the ground.

I know of lot of people inside New York State government today, as well as a lot of cynical citizens outside of government, who would be inspired and re-engaged if these commitments were acted on seriously by the next Governor.  I further believe that, if done right, OpenNY can help New York State improve government services while saving the State significant money in the bargain, by helping to modernize how the State manages its data, and by empowering citizens to take a more active hands-on role in their government, thus reducing the workload of government itself.

Kudos to the Cuomo campaign for this worthy beginning.  I hope we’ll now see groups of New Yorkers committed to better government heed this call, begin to self-organize, and prepare to help in planning, implementing, and engaging in a new era of open, efficient, participatory government in New York State.

Read the OpenNY plan below, or the full Clean Up Albany: Make It Work on the Cuomo campaign website.

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Gov20, government, ideas, New York, open data, open-source, presentations, reinventing government

Interview on Twit.tv with Leo LaPorte

Video of Leo Laporte’s Gov 2.0 special on Twit.tv last week; I’m interviewed starting at the 24:00 minute mark about our use of Gov 2.0 technologies for transparency in the New York State Senate.  Other interviewees are Tim O’Reilly, Jen Pahlka, Carolyn Lawson, and John Wonderlich.

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Gov20, government, ideas, New York, open data, open-source, politics, presentations, reinventing government, video

CapitolCamp 2010

More than 150 people convened in Albany on August 19th and 20th for CapitolCamp 2010, to conduct an open and frank full-day discussion about how to build a more transparent, efficient, and participatory State government by leveraging “Gov 2.0” technologies. Co-hosted by the New York State Senate and the Office of the CIO of New York State, CapitolCamp 2010 was broken into two days: a developers summit and an unconference.  Here’s video of the morning introductory session for the CapitolCamp unconference; my remarks about CapitolCamp and the work of the NYSenate CIO Office start 59:30 minutes in:

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